Salmon

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The migration of sockeye salmon from their birth in Idaho’s Redfish Lake to the Pacific Ocean ties Oregon, Washington and the Gem State together. But that trek is a brutal one that kills many fish each year, and advocates say their journey is made more difficult by four federally run dams on the Snake River in Washington. Tuesday night, people on both sides of this debate gathered at a hotel in downtown Boise. A federal judge opened up the process for public review and comment earlier this...

Salmon
Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

In May, a federal judge ordered dam operators in the Northwest to put all options back on the table to save endangered salmon. That means giving a close look at four dams on the lower Snake River. Now, Boiseans will have the chance to weigh in on the proposal. The debate over the best way to protect salmon has been caught in court battles for the last 20 years. A public meeting in Lewiston earlier this month drew about 320 attendees, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting . People rallied in...

Chinook Salmon, fish
Pacific Northwest National Lab / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho anglers looking to catch chinook this fall are in luck. Compared to last year, fewer chinook salmon are expected to return to the Snake River basin this fall. But Idaho Fish and Game Commissioners still plan to open a fishing season on parts of the Snake, Clearwater and Salmon rivers. The season opens September 1. Altogether, a total of 32,000 hatchery and wild chinook are expected to complete the journey to Idaho. Last year 59,000 fish were counted. Meanwhile on the Boise River, Fish...

Caro / Flickr Creative Commons

Members of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe have started a 100-plus-mile journey in hand-carved canoes to call attention to the tribe's interest in restoring salmon to the Columbia River above Grand Coulee Dam. The dam has blocked fish passage in the river since the 1930s. The Spokesman-Review reports that the tribe left Tuesday and will travel north on Lake Coeur d'Alene, down the Spokane River and into the Columbia. They will meet four other Inland Northwest tribes on June 17 for a summer solstice...

Roger Phillips / Idaho Department of Fish and Game

It was a bad year for endangered sockeye salmon making their way home on the Columbia River. Unusually warm water in Northwest Rivers this summer killed off most of the returning fish. But quick action by fish managers means the few that survived could produce a record number of smolts. This year was supposed to be a record run, with 4,000 fish headed home to Idaho from the Pacific Ocean. But in early July, water temperatures heated up in the Columbia system and the fish started to die off....

Screenshot MTB Project / BLM/MTB Project/International Mountain Bike Association

The Bureau of Land Management wants to get more people riding mountain bikes on 20 trail systems around the West. The agency has a new set of bike maps to show off those trails, including two in Idaho . John Kurtz is the Outdoor Recreation Planner for the Shoshone Field Office of the BLM . He helped build the Croy Creek Trail system , three and a half miles west of Hailey. He says the new maps are a great way to plan out a ride on an unfamiliar landscape. “[They] inspire people to get out and...

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Dozens of people in boats, kayaks, and canoes will join a flotilla Saturday on the Snake River to protest four dams that advocates say are killing fish and costing taxpayers money. Greg Stahl is with Idaho Rivers United, one of the groups putting on the flotilla. He says most people don’t know much about the four dams on the river between Lewiston, Idaho and Pasco, Washington, in part because of their remote location. Lower Granite, Ice Harbor, Little Goose and Lower Monumental were built...

A conservation easement has been signed on an east-central Idaho ranch that's been a top priority for state and federal authorities for years because it contains prime spawning streams for threatened salmon and steelhead. The agreement between the Bonneville Power Administration and ranch owner Karl Tyler signed last week protects 10 miles of the meandering Lemhi River and half a dozen tributaries. Lorraine Bodi of Bonneville Power says the agency paid several million dollars for the easement...

Chris Willey / Flickr Creative Commons

The migration of sockeye salmon from the ocean to inland parts of the Northwest has been deadly this year. Hotter than normal temperatures early in the summer warmed up low-flowing rivers, and more than a quarter million sockeye are dead or dying in the Columbia River and its tributaries. But Idaho Fish and Game biologist Mike Peterson says the conditions are allowing scientists to observe just how resilient salmon can be in warmer water. “What we may see this year is that these fish are...

Jerry McFarland / Flickr

More than a quarter million sockeye salmon returning from the ocean to spawn are either dead or dying in the Columbia River and its tributaries due to warming water temperatures. Federal and state fisheries biologists say water that is 5 to 6 degrees warmer is wiping out at least half of this year's returning population of the cold-water species. Ritchie Graves of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says up to 80 percent of the population could ultimately perish. Officials are...

Andrew W. Sieber / Flickr

Despite one of the worst drought years on record, hydroelectric dams in the Pacific Northwest should not see their operations disrupted too much this summer. That's what the Northwest Power and Conservation Council was told at a meeting in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, on Wednesday. Water through the dams in the Columbia River Basin this summer is projected to be only about 71 percent of average, triggering dry year operation protocols for the dams. The council, which includes members from Washington...

Jerry McFarland / Flickr

Federal authorities have released their final recovery plan for Snake River sockeye salmon, a species that teetered on the brink of extinction in the early 1990s. Authorities say the plan released Monday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will create a self-sustaining population of sockeye over the next 50 to 100 years. The run was listed as endangered in 1991, kicking off a hatchery program that at first had only a handful of returning fish to propagate the species. But...

It's been 75 years since salmon and steelhead last swam into the upper reaches of the Columbia River above Grand Coulee Dam.

Dan Stahler / Yellowstone National Park | Flickr

A hunting derby, with top prizes for wolves and coyotes , is underway in Salmon. It’s the second year in a row for the controversial event . The group Idaho for Wildlife is handing out a $1,000 each for the most wolves and the most coyotes killed. A year ago, more than 230 hunters converged near Salmon for the derby. No wolves were shot, and 21 coyotes were killed. Last year, the Humane Society of the United States issued one of the strongest rebukes of the event. It called the contest a “wolf massacre” and labeled organizers as “ruthless.”

Washington Fish and Game

After giving the OK to a wolf hunting competition on Idaho public land, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has reversed its decision. The Times-News reports the BLM approved the five-year permit a few weeks ago. That’s after a BLM report that said there would be no significant environmental impact from the wolf derby, which was to take place on public and private land near Salmon. The first predator derby attracted international attention, as well as online petitions. Hunters competed...

Idaho officials have approved a coho salmon fishing season on the Clearwater River following efforts by the Nez Perce Tribe to bring salmon back after they disappeared about 30 years ago. The Idaho Fish and Game Commission on Wednesday approved the sport fishing season that starts Friday and runs through Nov. 16. Anglers will be allowed to keep two coho salmon per day and up to 10 for the monthlong season on portions of the Mainstem and Middle Fork Clearwater River. Coho salmon disappeared by...

The Columbia River will remain drawn down at least until June because of the cracked Wanapum Dam in southeast Washington.

The ongoing issue with the cracked Wanapum Dam in central Washington is now creating a problem for migrating salmon.

Once upon a time, salmon and steelhead swam over a thousand miles upriver to the headwaters of the mighty Columbia River, at the foot of the Rockies in British Columbia.

Chinook Salmon, fish
Pacific Northwest National Lab / Flickr Creative Commons

The federal government's management plan for protecting salmon and steelhead killed by federal dams in the Columbia River basin differs little from its earlier version and continues to rely heavily on habitat improvement. The plan, known as a biological opinion, was released by NOAA Fisheries Service on Friday. Its various iterations have been litigated in court for more than two decades. The last plan was struck down in 2011 for depending too much on unspecified habitat improvements....

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